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DNA 2014

8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. - Thursday, June 5, 2014
Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport
2500 Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505

With a great deal of pride, the Southern California Genealogical Society (SCGS) and the International Society for Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG) jointly announce the second conference dedicated to exploring the use of DNA as a tool in tracing our families.

Family History and DNA: Genetic Genealogy in 2014 will be held Thursday, June 5, 2014, in conjunction with the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree. The conference will be held at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport, 2500 Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA.

"Family History and DNA: Genetic Genealogy in 2014" is just one of many activities held during the weekend of June 5 through June 8, 2014. The 45th Annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree, featuring over 50 speakers, nearly 150 sessions and about 70 exhibitors, software and data providers, and societies, will be held at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank. Family History and DNA is produced by the Southern California Genealogical Society and co-sponsored by SCGS and the International Society of Genetic Genealogy.

Alice Fairhurst“The 2013 Family History and DNA Conference was an unqualified success. Attendees came from around the United States and Canada, as well as Europe, Australia and China. We are so excited to continue our exceptional service to genetic genealogists from around the world" said SCGS immediate past president Alice Fairhurst, who helped found the society’s DNA interest group and has been actively applying DNA in her own genealogy research. “As more family historians have DNA tests, genetic genealogy is becoming more valuable in the search for ancestors and living relatives.”


Blaine BettingerBlaine Bettinger, PhD (Biochemistry), JD, is an intellectual property attorney, popular speaker on DNA topics, and the author of the long-running blog The Genetic Genealogist. He has been interviewed on genealogical and personal genomics topics and quoted in Newsweek, New Scientist, Wired magazine, and others.

Dr. Bettinger is the administrator of the Bettinger Surname Project and co-administrator for the R1b-L1/S26 Y-DNA Haplogroup Project. He frequently gives presentations and webinars to educate others about the use of DNA to explore their ancestry, and recently had his genome sequenced through the Personal Genome Project.

TH009 - 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. Luncheon - "Peering into the Future of Genetic Genealogy" Panel discussion. Blaine Bettinger, JD - moderator. Panelists: Bennett Greenspan of Family Tree DNA; Johanna Mountain of 23andMe; a representative of AncestryDNA; and Diahan Southard, Genetic Genealogy Consultant.

TH010 - Thursday 2:15 to 3:15 p.m. - "Using Autosomal DNA to Explore Your Ancestry." For years, genealogists have focused on Y-DNA and mtDNA, unable to access the wealth of information in the remainder of their DNA. At long last, new autosomal DNA tests reveal this hidden information. Genealogists can use autosomal DNA for ethnicity estimates, finding long-lost cousins, and examining specific genealogical problems.

Katherine BorgesKatherine Hope Borges is the Co-Founder and Director of the International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG), which promotes and educates about genetic genealogy. ISOGG has grown to over 8,000 members in 70 countries.

Through ISOGG, Katherine has increased professional standards in the practice, research, and discussion of relevant issues in DNA testing, interpretation, and ethics. She organized a speakers bureau and has given many presentations on genetic genealogy to groups across the United States and in the United Kingdom. She administers several surname, regional, and haplogroup DNA projects.

TH006 - Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. "Lineage Societies and DNA Testing"

TH010 - Thursday 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. Moderator, Luncheon Panel, "Predicting the Future of Genetic Genealogy"

Bonny CookBonny Cook has been doing genealogy research for over 45 years, including work in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Netherlands and the U.S. She is a member of 14 genealogical societies in the U.S. and UK.

Bonny has been giving presentations on genetic genealogy since 2007. Currently she co-administers the SCGS DNA Project. Bonny has attended six Family Tree DNA International Conferences.

She retired from Xerox Corporation as a vice president of a technology area. During this time she gave technical presentations in over 12 countries.

TH005 - Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. "Genealogy and DNA: Messages from your Ancestors – What they Tell Us." Basic information about genetic genealogy, how it works and what it can be used for. Discussion about what it can and cannot tell you. Overviews of the five types of DNA tests. Test company neutral.

TH019 - Thursday 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. "“Brick Wall Y-DNA Study.”  Using Y-DNA to break down family history brick walls, or to provide clues that move your research ahead. Examples are based on surnames: Lincoln, Robinson, Cook and Drucquer/ Drukker.

Alice FairhurstImmediate past president of the Southern California Genealogical Society, Alice M. Fairhurst is a charter member of the International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG) and coordinates the efforts of amateur and professional geneticists to keep the ISOGG Y-DNA Haplogroup Tree up to date. She administers or co-administers 19 DNA projects and has been active in the genealogical world for more than 50 years.

TH015 - Thursday 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. "Tracing Genealogy through Y-DNA." Male Y-DNA STR testing finds matches along surname lines. Additional SNP testing can help pinpoint geographical locations of origin.

Maurice GleesonThe keynote speaker, Dr. Maurice Gleeson is by profession a psychiatrist and pharmaceutical physician. He is also a professional actor and has appeared on the West End stage in London.

As an avid genealogist, he has developed a strong interest in using genetic approaches to break through the many brick walls associated with Irish family history research. He first used genetic testing in 2008, and since then has set up the Spearin Surname Project which has helped trace his Spierin family connections back to the 1600s in Limerick and the 1500's in London. He also set up the iCARA project to help people with Irish surnames in the Caribbean reconnect with their Irish ancestry.

Maurice is co-administrator of the Ireland mitochondrial DNA project. He has given talks on genetic genealogy at the ‘Back to Our Past’ exhibition in Dublin (2012 & 2013) and also at the National Library of Ireland (Dublin), The National Archives in Kew (London), and at various regional and local meetings.

He organised Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2013, Ireland's first conference on genetic genealogy under the auspices of ISOGG (International Society of Genetic Genealogy). This 3-day conference exposed the Irish public to the wealth of DNA research that is going on in Ireland and how it is helping our understanding of Irish genealogy. Videos of the presentations can be found on the dedicated website at www.ggi2013.blogspot.ie

TH000 - Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Opening Session "How DNA will Change the Face of Irish Genealogy." Since genetic genealogy emerged as a new science, many researchers (both academics and Citizen Scientists) have been exploring the genetic signature of the Irish. With a diaspora of over 70 million people worldwide, and 12% of Americans claiming Irish ancestry, the research that has been ongoing in and around Ireland has direct application to a great many people worldwide. Maurice Gleeson summarizes some of the seminal work that has been undertaken over the past ten years in Ireland. He assesses the impact DNA testing has had on Irish genealogy, looks forward to what the next ten years will hold and explores how it will change the face of genealogy as we know it.

TH015 - Thursday 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. "Which DNA Test is Best for You?" The DNA test that is best for you depends on the type of question you want to answer. This presentation will look at the 3 main types of DNA test and how each of them can help you answer a specific question in relation to your own family tree research.

Bennett Greenspan

Family Tree DNA was founded in 2000 by Bennett Greenspan, an entrepreneur and life-long genealogy enthusiast, turning a hobby into a full-time vocation. His effort and innovation created the burgeoning field now known as genetic genealogy.

Mr. Greenspan, a Nebraska native who received his B.A. from the University of Texas, spent years investigating the ancestors of his maternal grandfather, an obsession which eventually led to the founding of Family Tree DNA and the beginning of a new kind of genealogy.

As a serial entrepreneur, his business career has spanned photographic equipment and supplies, real estate, the pro-college website GoCollege.com, Family Tree DNA, and is now also involved in DNATraits.com, a new medical genetic testing company.

TH009 - 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. Luncheon - "Peering into the Future of Genetic Genealogy" Panel discussion. Blaine Bettinger, JD - moderator. Panelists: Bennett Greenspan of Family Tree DNA; Johanna Mountain of 23andMe; a representative of AncestryDNA; and Diahan Southard, Genetic Genealogy Consultant.

TH012 - Thursday 2:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. "Next-Generation Sequencing: Advances in Y-Chromosome Analysis." Since 1999, surname projects and one-name studies have used Y-DNA to trace paternal ancestry. Surnames are a relatively recent development and not always an accurate indicator of relatedness. Next-Generation Y sequencing facilitates deeper exploration of ancestry and paternal origins.

Tim JanzenTim Janzen, MD, is a family practice doctor at South Tabor Family Physicians in Portland, Oregon.

Tim has had an interest in genealogical research for over 35 years and has particularly been involved in Mennonite genealogical research for the past 15 years. He has a website that summarizes many different sources available for Mennonite genealogical research and has given many presentations about Mennonite genealogy in the United States and Canada.

In the past 8 years Tim has been become very interested in using DNA analysis to help complement traditional genealogical research. Glenn Penner and he are the co-administrators of the Mennonite DNA project at www.mennonitedna.com.

Tim has a strong interest in many areas of genetic genealogy, particularly in regards to phasing and autosomal DNA analysis. He is a consultant to the genetics company 23andMe as one of their Ancestry Ambassadors. He also serves on the ISOGG Y-DNA Haplogroup Tree Committee. He periodically gives presentations on genetic genealogy and also does private genetic genealogy consulting on a case-by-case basis.

TH004 - Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. "Chromosome Mapping and Autosomal DNA Analysis." This presentation will describe innovative techniques to organize and analyze your autosomal DNA matching segment data and describe how to map your genome. Concepts such as phasing and triangulation will be introduced. It would be best if attendees have taken at least one autosomal DNA test such as 23andMe’s test, Family Tree DNA’s Family Finder, or Ancestry.com’s AncestryDNA test prior to this presentation. Audience level: advanced

TH021 - Thursday 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. "Advanced Techniques for Use of Autosomal DNA Tests to Break Through Genealogical Brick Walls." This presentation will describe how to use autosomal DNA tests to solve genealogical questions.  Multiple examples of challenging genealogical research questions that have solved using autosomal DNA analysis will be given.  It would be best if attendees have taken at least one autosomal DNA test such as 23andMe’s test, Family Tree DNA’s Family Finder, or Ancestry.com’s AncestryDNA test prior to this presentation.
Audience level: advanced

Kathy JohnstonDr. Kathy Johnston, a retired dermatologist, has been engaged in genealogical research for over 25 years. She has been active in genetic genealogy since 2004, at which time she started collecting DNA samples from her aging parents in order to identify their Y-DNA and mitochondrial DNA lines.

When autosomal testing became available, she was one of the first genealogists to compare 23andMe haplotype blocks between individuals. She has had a special interest in the X chromosome since 2008 because of its unique pattern of inheritance and the richness of its ancestry informative markers (AIMs).

Kathy has been active in the DNA Interest Group of the Southern California Genealogical Society (SCGS) and the International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG). As a volunteer, she helps genealogists understand their direct-to-consumer DNA test results. She is a volunteer administrator for several projects at Family Tree DNA. She was a volunteer at the first "Family History and DNA: Genetic Genealogy in 2013" conference co-sponsored by SCGS and ISOGG. In September 2013, she along with other members of ISOGG, was invited to attend an historic ancestry inference roundtable discussion organized by the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG). In October, 2013 in Boston, she presented a scientific poster during the Ethical, Legal, Social and Policy Issues in Genetics Session at the ASHG 63rd Annual Meeting.

TH017 - Thursday 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. "Finding Treasure on the X Chromosome: What Genealogists Need to Know"

Cheri MelloDuring the day, Cheri Mello is a math teacher with degrees in psychology, sociology, human and child development, and master’s in education. She became a National Board Certified Teacher, the most prestigious and highest teaching credential in the educational world.

Cheri began her active adult research 22 years ago, after the death of her grandparents. She has done research in many states, and even traveled overseas in search of her Portuguese ancestry. Ten years ago, she became involved in DNA, and was recruited as the Project Co-administrator for the Azores DNA project. She runs five DNA projects and manages mailing lists involving Portuguese-Azorean genealogy.

Cheri lectures now not only on Portuguese and DNA topics, but a host of other topics including software programs and FindAGrave.com.

TH002 - Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. "Making the Connection between Your Family Tree and DNA." A brief overview of DNA and its applications will segue into learning how to maximize the results by generating a Gedcom to pinpoint the common ancestor.

CeCe Moore CeCe Moore is a professional genetic genealogist and writes the blog Your Genetic Genealogist, which boasts tens of thousands of readers from 160 countries. Considered one of the foremost experts in the use of autosomal DNA for genealogy, CeCe is frequently consulted by the press, DNA testing companies, genealogists and adoptees.

In 2012, CeCe was personally appointed by the CEO of 23andMe to serve as their lead "Ancestry Ambassador", advising the company on their genealogy product. Additionally, she was recently chosen by Spencer Wells to participate in the launch of the new phase of the Genographic Project and to be one of the first to review their new DNA test.

CeCe’s extensive work assisting adoptees in the search for their roots includes serving on the advisory board of the Mixed Roots Foundation as the Co-Director of the “Global Adoptee Genealogy Project” and as the co-administrator of the “Adopted Project” at Family Tree DNA.

She is the Southern California Regional Coordinator for the International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG) and co-founder of the NSDCGS’ DNA Interest Group. As moderator of the ISOGG DNA Newbie Yahoo Group, administrator of the ISOGG Wiki, and a popular presenter and through her articles, CeCe spends much of her time educating others about genetic genealogy. She is very proud of her recent forensic work identifying and locating the family members and DNA references for WWII POWs and victims of a well-known serial killer.

TH003 - Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. "Real World Stories from the Desk of a DNA Detective." DNA testing is revealing unexpected surprises in the trees of many genealogists, involving both immediate and more distant ancestors. These surprises often lead to fascinating stories that could never have been unearthed without DNA and this new-found knowledge has taught us that our family trees on paper may not always be the same as our true genetic genealogy. After learning of its potential to reveal and unravel complex family relationships, many are flocking to DNA testing to solve their own family mysteries. Actual cases from the presenter’s own files will be shared.

TH013 - Thursday 2:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. "Autosomal DNA - Advanced"

Steve MorseStephen Morse is the creator of the One-Step Website for which he has received both the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Outstanding Contribution Award from the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies, the Award of Merit from the National Genealogical Society, the first ever Excellence Award from the Association of Professional Genealogists, and two awards that he cannot pronounce from Polish Genealogical Societies.

In his other life Morse is a computer professional with a doctorate degree in electrical engineering. He has held various research, development, and teaching positions, authored numerous technical papers, written four textbooks, and holds four patents. He is best known as the architect of the Intel 8086 (the granddaddy of today's Pentium processor), which sparked the PC revolution 30 years ago.

TH001 - Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. "DNA and Genetic Genealogy: Everything you Wanted to Know but Were Afraid to Ask." An introduction to genetic genealogy, covering such basic topics as genes, chromosomes, and DNA, and showing how these can be used for genealogical purposes.

Joanna MountainJoanna Mountain, PhD is a geneticist with a passion for ancestry genetics and genetic genealogy. She was born in England and traces her ancestry back to England, Ireland, and Scotland. She received her PhD in Genetics from Stanford University and subsequently served on the faculty of the Anthropological Sciences department. Joanna has used genetics to study human prehistory in Africa, southern and eastern Asia, and Europe.

She currently represents 23andMe, a personal genomics company that provides genetic data and tools for exploring ancestry, genealogy, and health. She is interested in finding ways to extract as much genealogical information as possible from a personís, or familyís, genetic data. She is particularly excited about the future of genetic databases that allow distant relatives to find one another and! to extend one anotherís family trees.

TH009 - 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. Luncheon - "Peering into the Future of Genetic Genealogy" Panel discussion. Blaine Bettinger, JD - moderator. Panelists: Bennett Greenspan of Family Tree DNA; Johanna Mountain of 23andMe; a representative of AncestryDNA; and Diahan Southard, Genetic Genealogy Consultant.

TH020 Thursday June 5, 5:00-6:00 p.m. Putting all the genetic pieces together to solve family mysteries DNA provides multiple pieces of our ancestral story, and putting together those pieces can be a challenge. THis presentation will cover the different types of evidence from DNA, as well as some examples of how people have put together the pieces to successfully solve family mysteries or make family discoveries. The focus will be on the interpretive features provided by 23andMeís Personal Genome Service. 

Judy RussellA Certified Genealogist with a law degree, Judy G. Russell (The Legal Genealogist) writes and lectures nationally and locally on a wide variety of genealogical topics ranging from using court records in our family history to understanding DNA testing.

She has a bachelor's degree from George Washington University and a law degree from Rutgers School of Law-Newark and an eclectic work background including everything from working as a newspaper reporter to teaching law.

She has attended numerous national genealogical institutes, including the National Institute on Genealogical Research (NIGR) at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, and the Institute for Genealogical & Historical Research (IGHR) at Samford University, where she was a 2010 Walter Lee Sheppard Jr. prizewinner in Advanced Methodology and Evidence Analysis.

A Colorado native with roots deep in the American south on her mother’s side and entirely in Germany on her father’s side, Ms. Russell has written for the National Genealogical Society Quarterly and the National Genealogical Society Magazine. She is a member of the National Genealogical Society, the Association of Professional Genealogists, and, among others, the state genealogical societies of Illinois, Kentucky, New Jersey, North Carolina, Texas and Virginia, and currently serves as a trustee of the Board for Certification of Genealogists.

TH011 - Thursday 2:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. "Beyond X and Y: The Promise and Pitfalls of Autosomal DNA Testing." Autosomal DNA testing is the new kid on the block. Learn more about this exciting addition to the toolkit of 21st century genealogists. What's in it for you, and how can you make the most of this test?

Diahan SouthardDiahan Southard graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in microbiology. As an undergraduate she worked in the archeogenetics laboratory of Dr. Scott Woodward. In 2000 that lab became the basis for the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation (SMGF). In those early years of the foundation Diahan traveled extensively in the United States lecturing and collecting samples to help build the database.

Upon graduation she worked for Sorenson Genomics, a sister company to SMGF, as a genetic analyst. She then worked for SMGF until July of 2012, spending much time lecturing in the field of genetic genealogy, developing products and services, as well as consulting with individuals and families regarding how their genetic results relate to their genealogical endeavors.

She has now transferred that knowledge to her partnership at the Genetic Genealogy Consultant where she is engaged in creating personalized reports for individuals who have had DNA testing completed, but aren’t sure about the Next Steps.

Diahan has three darling children, a supportive husband, and one old, if somewhat neurotic, miniature schnauzer.

TH007 - Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. "Lab Tour: How Your Data is Generated and Analyzed." Wondering how mtDNA, YDNA, and autosomal DNA testing is conducted and analyzed? In this virtual lab tour we will evaluate real data, understand the hardware and the software used to generate that data, and how it effects the reports you receive.

TH009 - 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. Luncheon - "Peering into the Future of Genetic Genealogy" Panel discussion. Blaine Bettinger, JD - moderator. Panelists: Bennett Greenspan of Family Tree DNA; Johanna Mountain of 23andMe; a representative of AncestryDNA; and Diahan Southard, Genetic Genealogy Consultant.

TH018 - Thursday 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. "YDNA, mtDNA, and Autosomal Case Studies." Do you feel like DNA testing for genealogy is long on explanation and short on results? Come explore case studies for mtDNA, YDNA, and autosomal DNA and learn how this powerful tool has assisted others in their genealogical journeys.

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